Rep. Hank Johnson took to the House floor Thursday to — not making this up — apologize for calling what he terms “abnormally small people” “midgets.” Here’s what he said Wednesday night in the House.
“If you put a midget against a giant, he won’t win. They are in entirely different weight classes [in cage-match fighting]. But if you put 30 midgets in with that giant, they just might win [collectively].” -Hank Johnson (~8:00PM ET, 12/12/12, House of Representatives General Speeches)
Johnson used what he now calls the “m word” in that metaphor. This metaphorical fight thankfully did not threaten to capsize the island of Guam. But it did deliver comedy gold as Johnson substituted the “m word” for something he thinks is better: “abnormal.” Guess he hasn’t watched Young Frankenstein.
The transcript of Johnson’s apology reads like a clever sketch lampooning Democrats and political rhetoric generally.
Johnson: When we say little people, I’m not talking about the Helmsley little people; I’m not talking about the 47%; I’m not talking about the takers instead of the makers as some would describe them; I’m not talking about the middle class, working people, poor people, working poor people — that’s not what is meant by the little people term. It really refers to a medical condition, dwarfism is the name of that medical condition, and sometimes I guess one can even say abnormally small people, abnormally small people which to me is — I like that term better than dwarfism.
And it gets even more surreal when Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) condescendingly pats Johnson on the head for his apology.
Schakowsky: People understand that there are those who are deeply offended by it and that we should all learn what not to say so as to defend, uh, offend people.
From there, Johnson went on to promote a web site about “abnormally small people, or little people, or unusually small people.” Johnson went on to defend his original analogy, then altered it to a story about little fish having to learn to get along with bigger fish or they will get eaten, before launching into a tirade against the legislative group ALEC.
So…it’s the fault of smaller fish when they get devoured by tiger sharks, because they never learned to get along with them. Noted.
Stunning fact: Hank Johnson was a judge, for 10 years, before being elected to represent Georgia’s 4th Congressional District.